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SLC Mayor proposing LGBT-inclusive anti-discrimination ordinance

Monday, August 24, 2009
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Mayor Ralph BeckerSalt Lake City Mayor Ralph Becker is proposing a new city ordinance that includes protections for sexual orientation and gender identity and expression.

The public discussion draft is based on a July report by the Salt Lake City Human Rights Commission that provides “factual confirmation of the harms caused by discriminatory practices.”

The ordinance would ban discrimination in the areas of employment, public accommodations and housing. It specifically exempts religious organizations from enforcement of the ordinance.

The draft recognizes that neither federal or Utah state laws prohibit discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity or expression, and states the purpose of the ordinance is to “prevent the harms to both the individual and our community caused by discriminatory practices.

The Mayor plans to introduce a final version of the bill to the city council in mid-September.

If passed, the ordinance would represent a significant step in Utah, home to the Mormon church, which has been the subject of outrage and protests from the LGBT community over its involvement and financial support for California’s Proposition 8 ban on same-sex marriage.

Becker, 57, (pictured) is a Democrat.

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